Nigeria (Blank NEWS Online) –
The absence of the All Progressives Congress (APC) flag bearer, Mr Godwin Obaseki, at the Benson Idahosa University Interactive session for governorship candidates to present and defend their manifestoes ahead of the Edo governorship election on September 10, 2016 has continued to ganner criticism.
A director of his Campaign Organisation, Mr Austin Osakwe, who was at the maiden session to represent him, over the weekend was not allowed to do so, because participation, according to the organisers, was not possible by proxy.
Osakwe, who said his principal did not shun the event, explained to the newsmen outside the venue that though, he would have loved to be physically present for the event, he (Obaseki) was out of town.
According to him, “I believe that what they have done is the right thing. He is not able to be here today because of exigencies. He has not been in town for the past four days. So, he could not make it here today.”
Vice-chancellor of the University, Professor Ernest Izevbigie, who frowned at the absence of some of the governorship candidates and others who came late to the event, said the attitude does not augur well for persons aspiring to lead a people.
He declared, “Every candidate ought to cease every platform available to reach out to Edo people. They should be excited to share, because it provides an opportunity to convince people who are undecided or who are sitting on the fence.”
Prof. Izevbigie said the interactive session was designed to create a platform for all the governorship candidates to showcase to Edo people their plans and their vision for the state if they get elected as the State governor.
“It is a unique opportunity for the governorship candidates to showcase their party programs in the best way possible. It is not a forum for criticisms but to show the voting public how well they understand the minds of Edo people,” he explained.
He added that the University as an intellectual environment also organized the event as part of its corporate social responsibility and for the candidates to present highlights of their manifestoes and their vision for the state.
However, it would be recalled that Godwin Obaseki has come under serious criticisms for not speaking up, both for himself and the party at APC rallies as Gov Adams Oshiomhole has taken over the campaign and largely doing the talking.
This event was an opportunity for Obaseki to rubbish that assertion, but with his absence the impression in several quarters in the state that he is “puppet candidate” who cannot hold his own has been further reinforced.
Among the governorship candidates who featured in the event which attracted members of the voting public and students of the Benson Idahosa University community were Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the PDP who gave a beautiful rendition of his “Simple Agenda” and Dr Gbajumo Omorogieva of the SDP.
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Nigeria (Blank NEWS Online) –
E.I.C: Albert Eruorhe Ograka